I got back to Michigan late on Monday after a wonderful week in France for Les Imaginales.
The festival was amazing. The whole town participates and helps to sponsor Les Imaginales, which felt like a cross between a book fair, convention, and renaissance festival. The town is gorgeous, the food is delicious, and there were dogs everywhere–even in restaurants or sitting under a table in the book tent 🙂
I’ve posted photos from the book fair on Flickr. I’ve got a bunch more to get through and post, but I’m doing them one batch at a time.
The best part, naturally, was getting to hang out with some wonderful author friends from America, and to meet new authors, fans, editors, and fellow geeks from France and elsewhere.
It was fascinating to see the differences between French and American conventions. The panels were very different. Instead of a free-for-all conversation, the moderator asked each author a question, one at a time. There wasn’t much interaction between the authors. It felt a bit more formal, but also made sure everyone got the chance to talk and contribute. You were also expected to talk a fair amount about your book and how it related to the topic. At home, I try to avoid doing that too much, but in France, it’s expected that you’ll talk about your writing and help the audience learn enough to decide whether or not they’re interested.
Which means the best time to be in the book tent is immediately after you’ve done a panel. (I didn’t figure that out for my first panel, and probably missed some sales since I didn’t immediately go to the tent afterward. D’oh!)
My thanks to everyone at the festival for inviting me, for their hard work organizing the event, and for making this such a delightful week.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Some might say this is fake news. It isn't
An American company implausibly named AnalTech – no, really – has been slammed hard enough for a hazardous materials response team to be called out to deal with the smell.…
However, if you define a thwump post as being for paid writing I can now do one for an academic paper...
Back in January I was quite unexpectedly invited to submit a paper titled 'An Introduction to the Planck Mission' for a journal published by the IoP that is aimed at late stage students and general physicists.
They wanted about 20 pages of writing providing an introduction to Planck and its science by the end of May. It would then be refereed and, if accepted, published.
And if I could do this all to schedule they'd pay me 600 quid!
I didn't know such things could happen and, needless to say, have got the article in on time.
I'll reveal the journal's name and let you know where to get hold of the paper as an online preprint once it's accepted.
A pretty good rendition of what happens when a night at the opera goes south, and a pretty good, claustrophobic sf/horror movie.
I know at lrast one person reading here might be interested.
I found this interesting as additional background and research reading for my current novel WIP, DRAGON PEARL, although I am not choosing to base my space opera setting very closely on historical Korea, let alone Joseon. For example, Joseon Korea tended to become more patriarchal as time went on due to the influence of Neo-Confucianism, and I wanted to depict a society more egalitarian in its attitudes toward gender. Earlier periods of Korea were kinder to women, but not only is there less material on earlier periods to begin with, it is damn near impossible to find such material in English, and unfortunately I am not fluent in either Korean or Classical Chinese.
Also, I was fascinated by Seo Tae-Won's "The Military Life," which mostly amazes me in that I'm not sure how the Joseon military system was even able to function! For example, many commoner households owed military service to the government, but they were not paid or equipped or given uniforms, which was hard on their families, especially if they were needed at home for the farming...yikes.
Meanwhile, the most entertaining of the essays (if you want to judge them that way) are Jung Jin Young's "Did Fake Genealogies Exist?", which drily notes that it can't be possible that EVERY SINGLE KOREAN comes from a yangban lineage, and discusses some more complicating factors in Korean family lines, and the very last one, "The Outhouses of the Royal Palaces" by Hong Soon Min.
Here is the table of contents for the curious:
Part One: Economy
1. Farming in the Joseon Period
2. A Typical Day and Year in the Life of the Peasantry
3. The Tax Burden of the Peasantry
4. Currency and the Value of Money
5. The Merchants of Seoul
6. The Joys and Sorrows of the Itinerant Merchants
7. Foreign Trade and Interpreter Officials
8. Salt: White Gold
9. Seeking Work at Mines
10. When Did Joseon's Population Reach Ten Million?
Part Two: Society
11. Rural Society and Zhu Xi's Community Compact
12. Why Did Peasants Create the Dure?
13. Did Fake Genealogies Exist?
14. The Baekjeong Class
15. The Rebellion of Im Ggeokjeong
16. Did People Divorce in the Joseon Period?
17. The Educational System
18. Military Life
19. The Penal System
20. Eating Culture
21. Liquor and Taverns
22. Tea and Tobacco
23. The Outhouses of the Royal Palaces
Thank you to the generous benefactor who donated this book.
I'm not signed up for any panels, I'm not volunteering this year. I'm not 100 percent sure that this isn't going to end in disaster again. Depending on how I react to the various allergens in Madison I may be very low-energy, I may be sneezy and stuffed-up, I may be spending a lot of time asleep, I may be slow and forgetful due to being low oxygen, I may recuse myself rapidly from controversy or trouble if I don't see an immediate way to be useful.
I may have to leave panels abruptly due to coughing fits. We may be leaving town abruptly to get me back to Canada for treatment. (My out-of-province insurance isn't going to cover me for another serious asthma event in the same damn' city as the last one. That's kind of the definition of 'pre-existing'). We have a plan for this. It's as solid as we can make it.
Or we may have trouble at the border and not get there at all.
Or it all may be just fine. I really don't know. There's no way to tell.
But I'm on a new med (Singulair), and taking ALL the other ones, religiously, and so far my lungs seem to be willing to stay fairly functional. I'm bringing my bike. I'm hoping to stay an extra week and see friends. I'm cautiously optomistic.
A small request: if you see me, and we're friends, and you possibly can, grab me for coffee or food or a quick chat? This is almost certainly my last WisCon for some time, and if I do have a dangerous reaction, it's my last WisCon, period.
I know that I've lost touch with a lot of you due to missing the con and generally being offline and preoccupied trying to get my health under control. I'm sorry about it, and I'd really like to connect this weekend if we can, because you all are one of the communities of my heart, and to be honest I'm coming much more for y'all than for the "official" con.
If you or someone near you is wearing scent, I may have to back away rapidly. I'm sorry.
I'm not really accustomed to being a fragile little flower, you know? I'm still working out how to handle it.
Also, if there's a volunteer task I can do, something you need help with, that you can grab me for on the spot, please do. It's hard to contribute meaningfully when you can't make any promises, and I'll appreciate any chances to do so.
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. "How are we to live in an atomic age?" I am tempted to reply: "Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents."
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors - anaesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts - not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
Thanks to hollymath and white_hart for that.
For a job helping disabled people get jobs, so I think I'd be the best at it frankly, but we'll see.
Cue me finding this out at 4:30 this afternoon, it being at 11:10 tomorrow morning, and me wishing I could spend the rest of the evening looking for suitable clothes and identity documents and stuff (honestly, we get all our bills paperless if we can; it's hard to do this these days!).
And also having a big WI event to help with, starting in about half an hour, so I can't even a) properly devote myself to this or b) go to sleep, which is what after all this overwhelm I really want to do.
I'm not officially a citizen until I do the ceremony, which I should find out about in the next week or so. (While I continue to want no one there for that, I'm very happy to have as many people as want to and can, in a pub nearby waiting for me to be done with it.) But this is basically it. Done now. Until a few years ago, this would have made me indistinguishable from a person who's British because they're born in Britain. Our previous, immigrant-hating Home Secretary changed that, but it's still pretty good.
I am so grateful to all the people who backed my Kickstarter to make this application possible, to my friends who signed my application as references, to everyone who's told me that the UK is better for having me in it, and especially for Andrew who's into his second decade of tolerating the expense, stress and diminution of his own rights in his own country as the spouse of a foreigner. And that's even before the day-to-day horrors of me not letting him buy the hundred-quid six-CD set of one album that he doesn't like all that much anyway, and suchlike.